Do you get spam on your organization’s email account? There might be a really simple reason for it: your email address printed fully on your website somewhere. The problem with that is that there are “email harvester” scripts out there that will search websites for those and add them to spam lists. That is bad.
So how can you prevent this?
1. Add a contact form to you site. Those are usually pretty easy to get going. On WordPress there’s a ton of those. Here’s a simple example of one. For a conventional website a simple Google search will reveal a bunch. Personally I’m not a huge fan of contact forms, though. When someone has one on their site it just seems very impersonal and off-putting. I suppose if you’re a huge company or celebrity you may not want people to send a direct email to you, but outside of that, they don’t make too much sense to me.
2. Separate your email address. Instead of writing out your full address, you can write out: youremail (at) youremail.com or youremail (at) youremail (dot) com. The theory is that the spider bots can’t recognize these and thus your good to go. These aren’t very convenient for the reader, though. It takes a little more work for them to be able to contact you. I think there’s a much easier and more elegant option.
3. Add a link to your email address. So if you notice on my “about” page for this site I don’t have my email address written out. Instead I say, if you want to email me click here, for example. For the longest time I could never figure out how to get this to work the right way. I’m no programmer type. To be honest, I can’t even remember where I saw it, but here’s the secret…simply create a link, and in the space where you’d type in the web address, type in this: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Doing this should help you to lower the amount of spam that you’re getting. So go on now….and go to those places where your email is written out and fix it. Or the spider bots will find you.
[image by huntz]